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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

This is my first post. My wife and I recently purchased a white lab/golden retriever mix from a couple up in Conroe, TX who weren't looking to have puppies. This is my first dog outside of childhood family pets. She turned 12 weeks old this week and has already impressed me with her listening ability and even picked up sit/stay in less than a day.

As a little back ground over the last few years I was introduced to and subsequently hooked on duck and upland game hunting. I just love it. Watcing the retrievers work to fetch up and sniff out the birds is a thing of beauty. It's so impressive when the guide will start using the whistle and hand signals to help the dog find a far off bird. So, it got me thinking....maybe I can train my pup to be a gun dog?

With that in mind I spent the last two weeks researching accross the internet for training methods, videos, books, etc and found this forum. Searching through the forum was extremely helpfuly as I was able to crossreference other sites with your honest feedback on different programs. I ultimately ended up settling on Tom Dokken's DVD series and his book. I didn't go with TRT or Smartworks as most of the posters indicated this was a bit overkill for someone who doesn't want to compete (which I don't). I just want a dog that will fetch up downed birds, sniff out quail, and be a good family dog. I've been around a few dogs that were not purebread that people trained up themselves so I know it's possible. Probably just takes patience.

So this leads me to my first questions: Any tips for a newb? Thoughts on training a mutt?

I look forward to your thoughts,
-Sean
 

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Honestly : start by not referring to your dog as a mutt, its almost like you're already making excuses because of its mixed parentage..the dog cant read its pedigree..You have a retriever..period..train him like one
 

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In training I would emphasize building enthusiasm for retrieving before getting into strict control. You might find your dog doesn't respond as well to a "pressure" formalism as the dogs in books, videos, and forum posts. If she doesn't, that's OK. You can still teach her everything she needs to know with encouragement, consistency, and repetition.

Good luck and have fun.

Amy Dahl
 

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You shoot bird. Dog brings bird back. Shouldn't matter what it looks like. The dog doesn't know what breed he is. Take your time and keep it fun!!!!!
 

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I have been training my pup for a couple months now. She is a Lab/Collie cross. I didn't start training her for hunting until she was almost a year old. I noticed she had no fear of birds or gun shot, also she loves to retrieve. I had always wanted to train a retriever so i jumped right on it. One thing i have learned is that it doesn't matter what kind of mix they are if the instincts are there and they love what they do it won't be to different from a pure bred. We only trained for about 5 months before this duck season started and she has retrieved every duck that she has seen hit the water. The ones she doesn't see take a little longer, mostly because we haven't gone to far into signals yet so it takes a couple try's before she remembers what i'm asking her to do. But as long as you put the effort towards her she needs and figure out what works best with her it will come together. It is a great feeling when they make that first retrieve.
 

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It doesn't matter the breed of dog. I have a Shiba Inu that watches the birds in the sky and retrieves. Don't know that she would retrieve a bird or eat it though. lol
 

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Try Bill Hillman videos. There is so much you need to learn. Even just for casual hunting you want a well mannered hunting companion.
 

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The success of the dog will depend on:

1. It's aptitude, resiliency, and desire for work.
2. Your education and commitment to productive, purposeful and realistic training (to be a working retriever).
3. Combination of above.

My tips would be:

1. Remember at all times it is a dog, and only a dog.
2. They're masters at reading you, which you should keep in mind toward how to read them.
3. No dog enjoys a correction but will have to have some, fairly and with purpose.
4. Every dog likes praise and approval, this should far outweigh the corrections. However, make such work for you both.
5. Train a solid, healthy, confident dog. Whether it has what it takes by birth to be a good gundog...you'll at least have a great pet.
6. The dog will perform the tasks because it is trained to, not to make you happy. You being happy is a nice byproduct.
7. A lot of people don't understand the difference between a working dog and a pet. A working dog is both however some won't understand your methods.
8. Go SLOW, be thorough in every step, don't move on till the last step is complete.
9. The real gundog training is in the boring repetitive stuff.
10. Have fun and don't make excuses for you or the dog.

Good luck.
 

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The success of the dog will depend on:

1. It's aptitude, resiliency, and desire for work.
2. Your education and commitment to productive, purposeful and realistic training (to be a working retriever).
3. Combination of above.

My tips would be:

1. Remember at all times it is a dog, and only a dog.
2. Their masters at reading you, which you should keep in mind toward how to read them.
3. No dog enjoys a correction but will have to have some, fairly and with purpose.
4. Every dog likes praise and approval, this should far outweigh the corrections. However, make such work for you both.
5. Train a solid, healthy, confident dog. Whether it has what it takes by birth to be a good gundog...you'll at least have a great pet.
6. The dog will perform the tasks because it is trained to, not to make you happy. You being happy is a nice byproduct.
7. A lot of people don't understand the difference between a working dog and a pet. A working dog is both however some won't understand your methods.
8. Go SLOW, be thorough in every step, don't move on till the last step is complete.
9. The real gundog training is in the boring repetitive stuff.
10. Have fun and don't make excuses for you or the dog.

Good luck.
:)
Happy New year!!
 

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post. My wife and I recently purchased a white lab/golden retriever mix from a couple up in Conroe, TX who weren't looking to have puppies. This is my first dog outside of childhood family pets. She turned 12 weeks old this week and has already impressed me with her listening ability and even picked up sit/stay in less than a day.

As a little back ground over the last few years I was introduced to and subsequently hooked on duck and upland game hunting. I just love it. Watcing the retrievers work to fetch up and sniff out the birds is a thing of beauty. It's so impressive when the guide will start using the whistle and hand signals to help the dog find a far off bird. So, it got me thinking....maybe I can train my pup to be a gun dog?

With that in mind I spent the last two weeks researching accross the internet for training methods, videos, books, etc and found this forum. Searching through the forum was extremely helpfuly as I was able to crossreference other sites with your honest feedback on different programs. I ultimately ended up settling on Tom Dokken's DVD series and his book. I didn't go with TRT or Smartworks as most of the posters indicated this was a bit overkill for someone who doesn't want to compete (which I don't). I just want a dog that will fetch up downed birds, sniff out quail, and be a good family dog. I've been around a few dogs that were not purebread that people trained up themselves so I know it's possible. Probably just takes patience.

So this leads me to my first questions: Any tips for a newb? Thoughts on training a mutt?

I look forward to your thoughts,
-Sean
Bond...Very very important.
There are other puppy programs out there...research.
Take small steps in training.
There is no such thing as a bad day in training...Keep that mentality.

Enjoy your yellow cream color pup.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for the great input! I am excited to begin our training and aim to keep her happiness and excitement up.

Happy new year!!
 
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